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Actual composing of drums?
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Author Actual composing of drums?
rec.Koner
hmmm.....

When i search info about drums, it's either "how to make drums" (synthesize, samples, drum patterns) if we talk electronics or "how to play drums, rudiments and technics" (if i look about acoustic drums).

But what. about. actual. composition ?! very frustrating

I come back to my old guitar recordings and i remember how i couldnt wrote drum tracks for them, especially if it's melody first, drums second -> guess its damn hard so people do instead - drums (and bass) first, melody second.

Any good literature or something? Because otherwise it's like "okay check through existing patterns and try to take each part to apply on your piece".

waah
registeredwiggler
Speaking as a drummer, for 4/4: do something big on 1 and 3, fill in the rest with something rhythmic, more hi hat hits than snare; with song structure changes, just hit different sounds other than snare and kick with the same pattern at the same, half, or double speed; repeat
jtregoat
think about how the drum should interact with your melody, since that's what you're doing the other way around. see if you can fill in the blanks with the beats.


this is coming from someone who produces with drum machines so probably a different perspective, but i feel like what I said still applies
smcameron
As a non-drummer, I found this article many years ago that helped me get tolerable drum tracks (nothing special, mind you, but it let me get something tolerable in a big fat hurry which was a huge improvement over my previous haphazard ignorant dabblings.) And it doesn't address your question of writing drums for existing music (incidentally, I once ended up writing my own midi drum sequencer software on account of I accidentally made a killer guitar riff that happened to be 13 beats long, and the drum software I was using at the time couldn't seem to cope.)

http://tweakheadz.com/how-to-make-original-drum-tracks/
commodorejohn
Like jtregoat said, my strategy is to listen to the other parts and try to hear what should go behind them. It takes some practice and familiarization (and on that note: listen to a bunch of music, and actually listen to the drum parts and try to analyze them,) but once you get the hang of it it's easy to at least do passable drumlines.
rec.Koner
My problem sometimes is that i start to "duplicate" melody with drums so it ends up "soloing drums" not working as intended due to my lack of understanding/skill. Also it should be an opposite, i guess.

Thanks for insight, folks
The Grump
Generally speaking, you want to lay down your drums and bass first because everything else in the piece are reliant on those elements to determine the feel, and place melody/harmony in context.
rec.Koner
Yeah but if you already have melody (even recorded and not remakable anymore) confused
The Grump
rec.Koner wrote:
Yeah but if you already have melody (even recorded and not remakable anymore) confused


Try closing your eyes, listening to the recording, and scatting out a drum or a bass groove with your voice first, record that, then substitute drums and bass sounds for your voice. The key is that you already have perfect fluidity with your voice, even if not pitch and timbre. You can already be expressive without thinking about it. So... listen to the melody, hear what it wants behind it, scat that out, then realize it.

The other option is to just let the old stuff go until you cook up a context that suits it. You have your whole life to make more.
stk
I taught myself to play drums, so that I could program more realistic drums. Weird, maybe. But thinking like you are physically playing the part does make for a much better outcome.

Added benefit; I now really enjoy playing the drums in a band context.
cretaceousear
Yeah I've been in this same place recently - doing melody first then adding drums. Naughty, but I can't work to a preset beat - even a metronome is distracting. I used Roland drum machines years ago but it would be after I had a finished song worked out on guitar.

I've found the more I do the better I get.
Sometimes downloading free patterns - usually the midi channels don't match and what was tom might end up clap etc. but it gets a starting point. I also watched some drumming tutorials on You Tube.

Pulling the melody back to match the bpm is not always a success but this is all in the box - not so easy with recorded audio from modular.
But the more you focus on listening to the percussion the easier you can make your own.
felixer
the best way to learn how to prgram is to learn how to play!
so get a simple/cheap drumkit and take some lessons.
i've been programming for years and it always sounded like it was 'composed'. after 4-5 drumlessons it sounded like a real drummer. only after some swinging of sticks can you appreciate why drummers do thing the way they do 'm. methinks this is independant of styles. i practised at home on a simple hybrid kit. nothing fancy/expensive! and not that noisy really ...
but many practisecentres rent out rooms with a drumkit too.
mt3
Almost all suggestions are valid, but they need to be combined into a holistic whole.
I find some drum libraries easier to program due to a more appealing sound.
Soniccouture Konkrete, for example, always produces great stuff for me.
GuyaGuy
BOOM Chick
BOOM BOOM Chick


But seriously...Learning drum kit basics can help if the goal is realistic drum kit sounds. But just listen to Aphex Twin to know that electronic beats don't have to correspond to what a drummer would play--at all. Of course now we live in a time where drummers are often influenced by sampled or electronic drums (Menomena, Dawn of MIDI, etc.).

If I'm using a standard kick/snare combo then usually I'll program those two first as they define the core rhythm. If something is not working there--like too much accent on the 3--I can more easily tweak it before getting more complex. Then I'll start identifying what textures I want, e.g. polyrhythms on the toms or clicks and chirps creating syncopation. If something isn't working there then it's easy enough to wipe those clean to just leave the core and start over with the more complex additions.
TemplarK
Disco beat.
felixer
GuyaGuy wrote:
Learning drum kit basics can help if the goal is realistic drum kit sounds.

well, i thought that is what we are talking about. if you want to go out into fantasyland there are no rules and you can do anything you like ...
also i'm very influenced by free-jazz drummer such as tony oxley. i saw him once with cecil tayler and he really blew my mind. esp how easy& relaxed he played vs the amount of sound coming out. hard to believe that is just one person playing an acoustic kit ...
hamildad
I have had this where I felt that I had a good grasp on melody and composition but had no idea how to programme drums, I now use the Melodics program to practice finger drumming.

https://melodics.com/

I got it as a year subscription for $50 and its really worth it..

try it out, but the gamification on learning rhythms might not be for some, but for me its a good way to learn basic rhythms and how to create 'realistic' drum patterns.
JohnLRice
rec.Koner wrote:
My problem sometimes is that i start to "duplicate" melody with drums so it ends up "soloing drums" not working as intended due to my lack of understanding/skill.
So, what do you intend? cool

It would be helpful if you could post clips or links to music that has drums/percussion in it that works in a way that you'd like to emulate and also clips/links to your own music, both without percussion added and with the percussion added that you aren't happy with. That way we can make some suggestions? thumbs up
slowpilgrim
+1 for learning to play. the drum kit was my first instrument at 10 yrs old and I've never struggled to come up with interesting drum patterns. having said that, friends of mine who started on guitar find melody and harmony much easier, where as I have to work quite hard at it...

just accept that it will be more difficult for you at first, but like everything it gets easier with practice. drums have always seemed to appeal to intuition to me, it's something you feel with your body and eventually don't have to think about at all. get physical with your arms and legs.

failing that, try to recreate patterns you hear in famous songs on your sequencer and make the audio/visual connection between the 16 bar grid and your ears. with time you'll pick up on the handful of patterns which most popular songs draw on, and often form the basis of other more complicated patterns.
hsosdrum
+2 on actually learning how to play. But DON'T TEACH YOURSELF. Take lessons — explain why you're doing it to your teacher. If the teacher is good you'll learn much faster than you would on your own. (If the teacher isn't good, fire them and get another who is good.)

One thing you can do on your own right away that will help you immensely as a composer is to listen to music that has real drums being played by a real drummer, and pay close attention to:

1) What the drummer plays, particularly the snare drum and bass drum, and how this establishes and enhances the feel of the music. What you're most trying to create with your own drum parts is a proper feel for your songs, so you need to get good at recognizing this.

2) How what the drummer plays fits in with what the other musicians are playing, particularly the bass player. Again, it's mostly about the feel.

3) What the musical role of the drums seems to be in that particular song. Are the drums just keeping time, or are they providing a counterpoint to the other musical elements? Is the drummer playing a strict groove, or are they changing things around during the song? (For example, does the drummer speed up in the chorus, to build excitement?) How does the texture of the drums fit with the rest of the music?

It is important that you listen to music that has real drums if you want to learn about real drums. That means NO ELECTRONIC MUSIC — almost none of it contains real drums being played by a real drummer. Even if it's not your thing, listen to rock, pop, country and jazz.

Example: Ringo Starr's playing with The Beatles is a superb example of how a drummer's playing — even when it's quite simple, can enhance a song and elevate it to the next level. (An additional benefit of listening to The Beatles music is that it will help you grow as a composer.)

Good luck, and remember: HAVE FUN! Playing drums is a blast. (I've been doing it for 55 years.)
MarcelP
hsosdrum wrote:

Example: Ringo Starr's playing with The Beatles is a superb example of how a drummer's playing — even when it's quite simple, can enhance a song and elevate it to the next level. (An additional benefit of listening to The Beatles music is that it will help you grow as a composer.)



Also Keith Moon/The Who - his playing supports/mirrors/echos the vocal line (a tad busier than Ringo...) - try Quadrophenia (also a great reference for the sound of a real kit in a real room played in real time!).
pricklyrobot
Or, if you don't have the resources (time and/or money) for drum lessons, you could get some drum sheet music books, to start basing your patterns on. Basic drum notation is pretty easy to figure out even if you don't read music.

This book, for instance is pretty cool:
https://www.amazon.com/Breakbeat-Bible-Fundamentals-Drumming-Audio/dp/ 1423496337
felixer
i once read an interview with stewart copeland (of police fame) and how he makes drumpatterns on his fairlight in page R. closed hihat on all 16th except the last one: open hihat. then a kick on 'one' and a snare on 'three'. that's it!
all the rest is depending on the rest of the arrangment. and your taste/style.
i once did a project where the drummer wanted to have everything programmed as the guitarist was complaining about his steadiness. i learned quite a bit from that as he had all the patterns worked out and the challenge was simply how to get his playing in the computer. including all the fills etc.
in the end the guitarist was still complaining and it turned out HE didn't know how to play in strict time d'oh! but funnily no reporter/criticer noticed how the drums where programmed when the cd was released cool
Funky40
on Drumprogramming, ALOTS lies just within Velocity.
my opnion
rec.Koner
Quote:

Or, if you don't have the resources (time and/or money) for drum lessons, you could get some drum sheet music books, to start basing your patterns on. Basic drum notation is pretty easy to figure out even if you don't read music.


hmmm.....

What i mean is rules of composing drum lines for compositions, not just taking existing patterns finding one from douzens that you like more.
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